Sunday, May 2, 2010
Anchetty-Rasimanal Biodiversity survey
Above : The forest guesthouse at Anchetty
I was a member of KANS for a while but somehow due to one reason or the other couldnt make it to any of their past surveys.
This was one of the final surveys mainly aimed at finding out what kind of flora and fauna existed in the areas of Anchetty and Rasimanal.Getting here was a bit of a adventure since i havent been to these areas before.Anchetty can be reached via Hosur-mathigiri-denkanikotta-anchetty.It is about 140 kms from bangalore.
Thanks to Mahesh i got a drop from Denkanikotta to Anchetty,reached the forest guest house by 10pm.Sanjeev from KANS briefed me about the program.
Day 1 : Anchetty to Doddahalla trek to look for flora /fauna ,scat and pug marks on the way
Day 2 : Brief survey at Rasimanal on the banks of the river cauvery
Above : On the way to Anchetty forests
Woke up early and after a quick ,hot,yummy breakfast we headed towards our start point.As we started along the shrub jungle ,slowly one group consiting of Laxmeesha,karthik,aparna and me got lost along the way.The forest watcher venkatappa gave a mouthful for straying away from the team ,we was concerned since it was elephant area.
Above : An interesting velvet bug on the way
We were divided to 2 teams of 5 each going into two seperate trek routes.Our trek route turned out to be slightly longer but worth the effort.We trekked along the river bed of one of the tributaires of doddahalla which later joins cauvery.Much of it was dry,but gave us some interesting leads into some new shrub jungles for me.We spotted wild dogs,leopards ,wild boarspug marks along the way .Therer was a bit of confusion with venkatappa not able to correctly judge the distance for todays trek ,which lead us to being on the move always.
We briefly took a break .Everybody in the team -Mani,mahesh,karthik,george and me took a break to quench our thirst.It was a stagnant pool,but good enough to consume Venkatappa declared.We all had good gulps and rested for a whle before.
As we moved along from this place venkatappa sensed that there was a elephant and its cub in the vicinity,this was confirmed by the pug marks and the rich odour of the elephants that i could pick up.Elephants are always dangerous not matter what time of the day it is ,more so if it is with a little one ,always better to be on guard.We finally ended day 1 by hitting the road at around 12pm ,a good four hour trek.It was a nice experience in another kind of forest which
was an eye opener for me.
Above: On the banks of cauvery
We later headed for lunch where in a surprise waited for us ,curds :).We quickly headed towards Rasimanal to be joined by Thillai who had driven all the way from krishnagiri for this.There was some confusion in terms of the keys of the forest APC,we decied to give it a skip.It rained heavily towards late evening and these were welcome showers .The darker side of it was it meant about 14 people had to cram inside the watch tower .For veggies it was only idli+sauce -for others it was fish curry,fish fry and idlis.
Since there was space only for few ,some of decided to sleep inside the cars.The next day morning after finishing the morning ablutions ,we decided to head towards the place where the camera trap was set.Another interesting thing about these calm waters is that it is home to some fresh water crocodiles,hence i was always wary of going near the water.Couple of them even spotted them on the opposite banks.Also spotted were the rare river otters.
What is a camera trap :
A camera trap is motion sensor camera which is installed generally at a place frequented by animals,this time it was on the banks of the cauvery river.Unfortunately we didnt have any didnt have any animals sighted in the camera trap.Nevertheless it was a nice experience in knowing some techniques of tracking animals scientifically.
Above : A camera trap
After checking out some birds we decided to head back.A quick breakfast consisted of noodles thanks to guru and aparna ,post breakfast we decided to head back to bangalore.We decided to have a quick lunch,again it was simply delicious lunch.After a quick round of byes we decided to head back to bangalore
A good writeup by Aparna on how KANS plans to make Melagiris as a sanctuary,this would be an ideal soak up area to the present forests on the cauvery banks